Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription
Document Title: The Sonnet
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1880
Type of Manuscript: fair copy manuscript with corrections and alternate readings
full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.
Note: Bookplate with standing female angel blowing trumpet and seated female
angel. Between the two figures is a flowing banner on which is inscribed the
owner's name. Below the figures and the ower's name is an inscribed poem.
- BOOKS BRING ME FRIENDS
- WHERE'ER ON EARTH I BE.
- SOLACE OF SOLITUDE&
- BONDS OF SOCIETY!
Note: At the lower left of the manuscript DGR gives three alternate readings for the
end of line 13.
- A Sonnet is a moment's monument, —
- Memorial from thy soul's eternity
- To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
- Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
- Of its own intricate fulness reverent:
- Carve it in ivory or
- As Day or Night prevail; and let Time see
- Its flowering crest impearled and orient.
- A sonnet is a coin, whose face reveals
self, and its reverse, to whom
soul; — its rear-type to what Power 'tis due : —
- Whether for tribute to the august appeals
- Of Life, or dower in Love's high retinue,
- It serve; or, 'mid the dark wharf's cavernous breath,
- In Charon's palm it pay the toll to Death.
Note: On the back of the manuscript, DGR has scribbled various letter forms in pencil.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: By permission of The British Library